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welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, november 8th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. people in china are waiting for their major party to begin a transition. they won't be waiting in line to cast ballots as americans did this week. instead, select members of the communist party are passing control to a new generation of
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leaders. the process is both highly crotted and highly secretive. about 2,200 party representatives are gathering inside the great hall of the people in pay generally speaking to start their congress. president hu jintao, the party's general secretary, will deliver the opening speech. he'll look back over the past five years during which time chain in grew to become the world's second-largest economy. he'll look ahead to the coming years and talk about the challenges chinese face. the communist party congress runs for seven days, then hu and other top officials will hand power to another group of new leaders. we'll get back to the story a little later. cradle of culture. economic powerhouse. many enjoy the fruits of prosperity along the path to a new china, but millions are missing out. at a time of growing public discontent, members of the communist party are choosing their new leaders. "newsline" correspondents will report from the party's national congress.
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don't miss our special coverage, "china: the next generation" starting thursday, november 8th at 8:00 p.m. japan time, here on "newsline." china is the world's second biggest economy and party members were watching what happened in the first. ramin mellegard joins us from the business desk. we saw many americans celebrating the re-election of president obama but it seems the mood was different on wall street. >> it really was. we're seeing the reactions following the elections. investors really concerned about tax and spending issues and that's going to be a major focus going forwd. government spending cults and tax hikes are set to go into effect at the end of the year. the so-called fiscal cliff. investors worry obama will be unable to resolve the crisis with the house of representatives still controlled by the republicans. the key index on the new york stock exchange fell sharply when
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markets reopened after the election. the dow jones industrial average at one point lost over 360 points. the index finished the day at 12,932, down 2.3% from the previous day's close. new york stocks dliped from the start as investor concerns shifted to how obama will address the country's economic challenges. they're particularly worried the fiscal cliff could weigh down u.s. growth into the new year. >> it's a pretty sad day for wall street. >> i don't think it's for the best of the country. i had a good feeling that romney was going to be a better candidate for the economy. not bowl. obama. >> many offices in history manhattan remain closed. new york city officials have struggled to turn power back on after hurricane sandy hit last week. following an overnight plunge on wall street tokyo share prices are falling thursday morning. the key nikkei arm now currently
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standing at 8888. that is down 84 points, or just about 1%. investors placing sell orders on especially export-related issues. currencies, the dollar is currently being sold against the yen. worries about u.s. and european economies. the dollar/yen, 79.96-80.01. the euro/yen, 102.01-06. market players are buying the yen, it's regarded as a relatively safe asset amid pessimistic factors. those include the overnight sell-off on wall street, as well as the grim economic outlook for the eurozone which was released on wednesday. take a look at some of the asian indecks as well. australia's index, it is down .75% at 4483.
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obama's going to spend much of his time until the end of the year trying to avoid the fiscal cliff and we spoke with rich ars katz, editor in chief of "the oriental economist report." >> 50/50 chance the fiscal cliff can be avoided. if people come to their senses and compromise the impact will be small. if the fiscal cliff goes on for several months there's a very good chance the u.s. will go back into recession, a drop of 3% annual rate. that will have a disastrous effect on air shark it will cut u.s. imports from asia, it will hurt japan, it will hurt the european recovery. it would be a disaster. on the economic thing, i think obama will continue the same policy he has. quiet diplomacy. to get the chinese to raid the
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rmb. that's risen by 25% against the doar sce 2005. he won't call china a manipulator, he won't use sanctions. on particular trade issues where china has been doing things like dumping, obama will go to the world trade organization to stop it. however, the big problem there is the territorial disputes that china has with japan and other neighbors which are having economic spill-overs. i think the obama administration will do its best to both protect countries against decline of chinese military action, but also, to see if it can mediate or -- not medie, help resolve some of these territorial disputes. it will not directly mediate. us will continue to push for the transpacific partnership, whether japan joins or not. it will not have a separate agreement with japan. the u.s. has gotten very frustrated with tokyo. it no longer believes the noda administration is capable of
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joining. while prime minister abe may want to join for security reasons there's little faith in washington he can do anything until after the upper house election 2013, and perhaps not even then. so the u.s. will go ahead with tpp, without japan, let japan join later. the u.s. would like japan in it but japan has got to live up to the standards. that's the obama position. market worries are not only focused on the u.s. fiscal cliff. problems in europe are weighing on sentiment. the european commission downgraded its forecast for economic growth next year. the eu executive arm announced its outlook for the 17 eurozone nations on wednesday. the commission now forecasts the eurozone gross domestic product will fall 0.4% in 2012 from a year earlier. that's the first negative growth in three years. it also predicts near zero growth, 0.1% for 2013. that's down 0.9% from its may forecast.
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the commission warns of more negative growth for cash-strapped greece and spain, and four other eurozone nations in 2013. it says the region's leading economy, germany, can expect growth of only 0.8%. that's all bad news for employment. the jobless rate is expected to hit nearly 12% next year. >> major policy decisions have laid the foundations for strengthening confidence. there's certainly no room for complacency. >> eu economic and monetary affairs commissioner olli rehn urged the eurozone countries to push ahead with austerity measures as well as policies to stimulate economic growth. some sa japanese economic indicators for september have been out this morning. the current account surplus shrank for the first time in two months. that's a broad measure of
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foreign trade. finance ministry officials say the account surplus stood at $6.3 billion. that's down about 70% in yen terms compared to a year ago. the slide was mainly due to a trade deficit in september. sharp falls in exports to the eu and china and higher energy exports dragged down the trade balance. the deficit came to about $6 billion. exports amounted to about $64 billion. that's down 10.5%. imports were up 4.5% to $70 billion. manufacturing activity in japan declined in september. orders for machinery fell for the second straight month. cabinet office officials say the value of september orders received by major machinery makerers was $8.6 billion, down 4.3% in yen terms from the previous month. these nbers exclude volatile orders for ships and electric
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utilities. that's all for business news for this hour. i will leave you with a recap of the region's markets. we're going back to china now. members of the country's ruling communist party have opened their congress. they're starting a process that will involve plenty of discussion and deal-making resulting in a major leadership transition. this is a live look inside the great hall of the people in beijing.
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more than 2,000 representatives have gathered from acros the country. members convene every five years to decide on key policies. president hu jintao is the party's general secretary. he's making the opening speech to outline the come necessaries' basic policies for the next five years. hu has been general secretary since 2002. he is set to leave the party's top post at the end of the congress next thursday. and vice president shoe gee ping is set to take over. delegates are expected to set a policy known as sentific outlook on development. president hu advocates the concept which balances concern for the social welfare and environment with growth. political analysts say incorporating it into the party's plat tomorrow will put hu on par with previous leaders. we'll continue to update you on that as the details come in. in other news, opposition troops in the syria are setting
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their sights on key targets in the capital damascus. rebels say they fired mortars at president bashar al assad's palace. state-run media contradicted the rebels' account. it said opposition troops fired on residential areas in what it calls a terrorist attack. it said at least three people were killed. a day earlier, rebels set off a car bomb near the presidential palace. at least 11 people, including pro-government militiamen, died. opposition forces are reportedly bringing in fighters from other parts of syria to focus on damascus. human rights active uses say fighting around the country killed more than 200 people on tuesday alone. an earthquake has struck the central american country of guatemala. at least 30 people are reported to have died. analysts with the u.s. geological survey say the magnitude 7.4 quake struck on wednesday at around 10:35 a.m.
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local time. they say the focus was 41 kilometers beneath the pacific ocean, about 160 kilometers from guatemala city. authorities say several houses in the town of san marcos near the mexican border collapsed. they say residents are trapped in the rubble. a fire department officl tweeted that a school about 120 kilometers from the epicenter has also collapsed. he said eight people have been taken to the hospital. reuters says landslides have cut off roads in several places. a meeting of the association of southeast asian nations later this month in cambodia will seek to promote regional integration. three of the main players of the summit wouldn't be talking to each other, at least directly. japan is locked in territorial disputes with china and south korea. the country's foreign minister says it's unlikely prime minister yoshihiko noda will meet with south korean or chinese counterparts.
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gemba says arranging talks with china on the sidelines of the asean summit will be difficult. >> translator: japan and china have appeared to drift apart over the senkaku islands issue. it may take a long time before the situation improves. >> he says talks between japan and south korea will be difficult to hold. his comment comes after prime minister noda got into a heated exchan witdellatesver the senkaku islands at a meeting between asian and european leaders in laos. japan recently nationalized the senkaku islands in the east china sea. china and taiwan also claim them. a new form of transportation in bangladesh is overtaking traditional pedal-powered rickshaws in popularity. modern versions have a rechargeable battery.
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they're so in demand the country is struggling to keep up. nhk world's yuko funazaki has more. >> reporter: rajshahi is a city in northwest bangladesh. ordinary people rely on manpowered rickshaw taxis to get around. rickshaws carry only about two adults. they travel at the speed of a bicycle. recently a new type of vehicle is in the fast lane. it's the ultra rickshaw. the high-tech vehicle runs on electric instead of gasoline. on the streets, they're becoming more and more common. it's electric, so there's no gas emission, it's quiet, relatively stable and smooth, it's quite comfortable. the vehicle runs at a maximum speed of about 50 kilometers per
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hour. it can carry more passengers than man-powered rickshaws. and it can travel more than 130 kilometers on a fully charged battery. the battery is the main reason for the surge in popularity. it's easy to charge overnight from a regular wall socket. >> translator: i bought this auto rickshaw about $1,600 a year and a half ago. the vehicles are more expensive now. it's really good to have my auto rickshaw. now i can go anywhere, any time. >> reporter: this factory in the capital dhaka assembles auto rickshaws. the core components, the battery and the motor, are imported from china. battery performance has improved dramatically in recent years.
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their smaller size allowed the creation of the auto rickshaw. the dhaka factory ships five or six vehicles each day. >> poor people who don't have much money to buy a car, they can buy this kind of vehicle. very soon all over the bangladesh, i hope that electric rickshaw will come to market, people can buy. >> reporter: but the rapid spread of auto rickshaws brought an unexpected problem. bangladesh suffered serious power shortages with blackouts every few hours. residents say power cuts last longer these days. >> translator: the blackouts are messing up my business. i have to use five or ten candles every day. >> reporter: many people blame the spreading use of auto rickshaws for worsening shortages of electricity. >> we understand the impact on social life, but our problem is
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with this shortage of power, when this problem is solved, we can provide enough power. >> reporter: innovation has made the lives of people in provincial areas of bangladesh more convenient. as demand for auto rickshaws accelerates, the government may have to review its energy policies. yuko funazaki, nhk world. some young musicians from kobe have learned a lesson about music and humanity. the children were born when an earthquake devastated thr city in 1995.
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but they discovered that needn't stop them from relating to victims of last year's disaster. hidekeyo uemura has the story. ♪ >> reporter: a charity concert for the survivors of last year's earthquake and tsunami in tohoku. all the performers are students from kobe's junior high. the students have held ten concerts in their hometown since the earthquake last year. their teacher, nobohito ogura, helped survivors of the massive earthquake that struck kobe in 1995. ♪ based on that experience, he taught his students to use
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music to give emotional support to disaster survivors in tohoku. >> translator: music connects people. we can use it to encourage one another. i believe in the power of music. ♪ >> reporter: the students wrote a song. all the students pitched in to write the lyrics. they named the song "michi" which means middle of the road, or fulfillment. ♪ risa wrote this segment. risa drew a happy outcome to a troubled relationship. she comes through the ordeal because her parents and friends supported her. >> translator: at first i
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suffered all by myself. but then others around me began to think of the problem as theirs too. they were there for me and it made me feel much better. i chose those words because they expressed my feelings for the people of tohoku. >> reporter: the students visited okawa elementary school in miyagi. many of its pupils are lost in the tsunami. what students saw there was beyond their imagination. >> translator: i thought of the children. i was so sad, my tears couldn't flow. i can't describe the feeling i had then. >> reporter: the students realize the best way to help was to give a concert. ♪
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>> translator: it was wonderful. the song was so heartfelt. their angelic voices touched our hearts. >> translator: i think it's very important to live each day to the fullest, and i learned today that we can't take a normal life for granted. i want to remember what i learned and what the peoe in tohoku are going through and live each day cheerfully. >> reporter: the young musicians are strangers to disaster, but
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they used music to bring them closer to people who have experienced disaster. hidehiko uemura, nhk world, ishinomaki city, miyagi. it seems people in tohoku, northern japan, are dealing with stormy conditions today. meteorologist sayaka mori gives us the latest in weather conditions there and elsewhere. >> hi, there. an upper cold low is spinning over northern japan, giving us severe weather. heavy rain and gusts will continue into the next several hours. we have reports of 150 millimeters of rain in parts of hokkaido and gusts of 90 chronological kilometers per hour. a different story for the southern half of the country. dry, clear skies continue into tomorrow. rain is spreading into southern china and it's going to be intensifying and move into the shanghai area as we head into tomorrow. up towards the north, snow showers for parts of money gog yeah. to the south, dry.
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we have video coming out of northwestern china. sand blowing conditions continued for six days. people had to wear masks starr ofs to keep from breathing in sand. most people chose to stay home to avoid the cold and dust. the good news is that conditions have improved and we are seeing wi down.nditions as winds are let me show you the temperatures for east asia. dipping down to zero in ewe lawn ba tore. it will continue to go down. your high saturday is expected to be minus 8 degrees. meanwhile, warming up to 21 degrees in tokyo. all right, moving into the americas, then. in guatemala, a major earthquake occurred on wednesday morning local time. it looks like weather is cooperative. sunny skies will continue into thursday. out towards the east, a nor'easter strengthening over the east of the u.s. this is causing very strong
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north easterly winds and also very heavy cold precipitation in parts of the northeastern section of the u.s., as well as atlantic canada. as much as 15 to 30 centimeters of snow is likely in the high elevations in new england, and even lower-lying evations such as new york city, seeing the first snowfall of the season. as much as 7 centimeters likely overnight wednesday into thursday. out towards the west, things are going to change dramatically in the next 24 hours in the northwestern u.s. we are seeing blizzard-hike conditions. we're expecting blizzard-like conditions in the northern plains. i should say the northern rockies. winds and heavy rain are on the cards from thursday continuing into your friday. the sierras also will see as much as 30 centimeters of snowfall from thursday into friday. turning wet along the coast, such as portland, as well as san francisco. temperatures are looking like this because of the system.
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it's on the chilly side. only 9 expected in vancouver, as well as seattle, 19 degrees in los angeles. your high on thursday was about 31 -- on tuesday was 31 degrees. about 12 degrees caller than two days ago. on the other hand, warming up to 22 degrees in miami. 27 degrees in the haouston. 6 in new york city. we are seeing temperatures rising up as we head into the next several days. temperatures may reach 18 on your veterans day. here's your extended forecast.
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and that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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PBS November 7, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 13, U.s. 11, Obama 4, Hu 4, Bangladesh 4, Us 4, Tokyo 4, Newsline 4, Eu 3, Nhk 3, City 2, Catherine Kobayashi 2, Miyagi 2, Dhaka 2, Kobe 2, Damascus 2, Syria 2, Guatemala 2, Sayaka Mori 1, Starr 1
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